A Budding Success

Photo by Scott Schild From left, Andy, Susan, Drew and Abby Lasnicki, Addison Moran, Ciara Putman (current SUNY Morrisville student).
Published date

Seeds of popular landscaping & nursery dynasty were planted at SUNY Morrisville

They started small, but their dreams grew big.

Throughout the past three decades, Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery’s comprehensive services and family atmosphere have grown to reap the admiration of the local community and far beyond the reaches of its physical location on County Route 32 in Hastings, New York.

Canopies of outstretched trees, hearty ornamentals and rows of spectacular flowers amid boundless acres paint a modest picture of this multi-faceted business owned and operated by five SUNY Morrisville alumni.

A legion of loyal customers makes its way to Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery every year, some seeking the perfect shrub, tree or colorful hanging basket, some desiring patios and landscaping to augment their backyard haven, and others wanting wedding and event floral design.

After studying horticulture at SUNY Morrisville, Andrew “Andy” Lasnicki planted the seeds of the business in 1989 on a parcel of land where he and his father grew Christmas trees.

“I remember cutting grass with 100 accounts and my dad’s lawnmower,” Andy recalls of his grassroots operation, which has flourished into one of the largest retail and wholesale nurseries in Central New York. The breadth of services includes landscaping, hardscaping, a nursery with trees, flowers, herbs and vegetables, 16 greenhouses, and wedding and event floral design.

Andy’s old pickup truck has been replaced by a fleet of massive machines — oversized landscaping equipment, dump trucks and snow plows in a spacious parking lot — reminding him just how much they’ve accomplished through the years.

Rooted in Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery’s success is hard work and the TLC of Andy, his wife, Susan ’83 (business manager), their son Drew ’13 (operations manager), his wife, Abby (grower and floral design manager), and Addison Moran ’13 (nursery manager), Drew’s former college roommate.

The journey was similar for all five, who began their dreams on a friendly college campus which offered them hands-on experience that cultivated their careers.  

“SUNY Morrisville provided us with the roots that have played an integral role in the establishment and continued growth and success of our business,” Susan said. “Morrisville is a long line of family tradition for us. A sense of family is how it felt for all of us as students on campus and that is also what is felt here.”

“Morrisville was great in so many ways, preparing me for my future and the industry,” Drew said.

“I still utilize the skills from SUNY Morrisville on a daily basis.”

The beginning

Andy decided on SUNY Morrisville after a summer job at a local nursery piqued his interest in growing plants. He enrolled in the college’s horticulture program, where his green thumb and love for the outdoors thrived.  

“Everything just seemed to come together at SUNY Morrisville,” he recalled, including meeting Susan in 1983, an accounting and business major who had been recruited to play on the college’s women’s soccer team.

The couple married in 1988 and settled in Mattydale, New York. A year later, they purchased the original 22 acres of the businesses, started growing Christmas trees and planned to build their home.

When an opportunity arose to buy a house down the street, they embarked on a new plan and started the landscaping end of the company on that property instead.  

They purchased another 16 acres nearly 15 years later, and Susan left her job in Syracuse to join Andy full-time to expand the business.   

Next came the nursery, which started small and quickly spread to serve both retail and wholesale markets.

The business continued to bloom as more hands came on board. Drew, Abby and Moran, who met while attending Morrisville, each added a new dimension and helped craft Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery into what it is today.   

Drew, a horticulture A.A.S. grad, oversees the landscaping while Abby, who studied horticulture, floral design A.A.S., runs the wedding and event floral end of the business along with her responsibilities as the lead grower. Moran, a horticulture business management B.Tech. grad, is in charge of the nursery.

Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery’s work has earned them a loyal customer base and showcase landscaping has become synonymous with their name.

Continually growing and adapting to customer’s needs, they offer full-service landscaping, including hardscaping, construction, design, grounds maintenance, garden maintenance, mulching and tree trimming and commercial snow plowing. Mowing is also a small part.

Specializing in a broad range of landscaping techniques, Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery works with a team of designers and horticulturists.

“We work with our clients to actualize their ideas and ensure that they have a role in the creative process every step of the way,” Drew said.

Staying on top of methods to make trees and plants thrive in an ever-changing global climate is critical and requires greater vigilance than ever before. Various strategies help them work around each season’s challenges. They keep abreast of industry standards, maintain certifications and are part of the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association.

A lot goes on behind the scenes in every aspect of the business, including carefully calculating growing times, fertilizers and integrated pest management.

“We take pride in our plant knowledge and growing techniques, broad selection and exceptional customer service,” Susan said.

That’s evident in the nursery, where customers can find something different every season.

Lasnicki’s partnerships with some of the top growers throughout the United States and abroad have helped them procure premiere plant materials at competitive prices.

“We grow a large majority of our plant materials on-site, giving us the opportunity to price competitively and provide our clients with plant materials that are hardy for the area and thrive in our climate,” Drew said. “Many of our clients assist us in their plant selection by visiting the nursery where they can work directly with our design team.”

Branching off of the nursery, wedding and event floral design added an exclusive element to the business in 2017.  

“What sets us apart from other floral designers is that we grow many of the plants and flowers that we incorporate into our design,” Abby said.

Keeping up with modern and on-trend ideas is an exciting part of her work as she continues to grow that aspect of the business.

Custom Care

Passion and commitment continue to drive the family business today. Loyal customers serve as the barometer that they’re doing things right.

“I come here every year,” said Colleen Tompkins, a local resident who was at the nursery looking for something that would attract butterflies in her garden.   

With Moran’s assistance, Tompkins, a 1971 SUNY Morrisville nursing alumna, selected a Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea, a stunning variety with clusters of showy flowerheads that change from cream to pink to dark red throughout the summer.  

It’s that specialized attention that keeps many customers coming back — and the business flourishing – year after year.   

“We take great pride in our workmanship,” Susan said. “We are strong believers that our employees are our greatest asset and are a key to the continued success of our organization.”

The future promises a lot more for Lasnicki Landscaping & Nursery customers.

Four more greenhouses, in the beginning stages of construction, will make way for additional nursery stock and shrubs.

“It has been exciting watching all of this grow through the years,” Andy said. “Our employees are so passionate, it invigorates my passion.”

“When you love what you — when watch something you planted grow into a perfect flower or shrub — there is nothing more rewarding,” Moran said.

2024 Momentum cover

Read the Latest Issue of Momentum Magazine

Download the full issue for alumni news, class notes and more!